Saturday’s NHL Picks: December 3, 2016
Will the Sabres be a different team with Jack Eichel in the lineup?
Last weekend I went a respectable 4-2. We have a jam-packed schedule today and I like a lot of dogs. Let’s dive right in.
Record: 28 – 8
Steve Mason seems to be turning a bit of a corner, but this matchup will prove to be a big test against the high-powered Blackhawks. The Flyers have won three straight heading into this tilt and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games played. Claude Giroux has put together a nice little run with five points in his last four games. On the other side we have the Blackhawks who currently lead the Western Conference. At home the Blackhawks are godly with a 10-1-2 record. However, on the road Chicago is somewhat human with a mediocre 6-5-1 record. With Jonathan Toews still out and the Wells Fargo Center rocking, give me the Flyers in an exciting matinee affair.
Key Stat: Blackhawks are 1-12 in the last 13 meetings in Philadelphia.
Pick: Philadelphia – Home Team Win – H
My second pick for today is yet another underdog pick, as I am loving the Sabres. With Jack Eichel back the Sabres seem to have new life winning their last two games while scoring nine goals over that span. I really think the Bruins are catching the Sabres in a bad spot here, as the Eichel effect is the real deal. Zdeno Chara will miss yet another game and he will be sorely missed in this one as the Bruins will try to slow Eichel down. Give me the Sabres behind yet another strong performance from Jack.
Key Stat: Sabres are 6-1 in their last 7 Saturday games.
Pick: Buffalo – Home Team Win – H
I’m not a big Hurricanes fan. Carolina has lost four of their last five games and have only managed to score eight goals over that span. Justin Faulk has gone missing, as he has seven points on the season. The Hurricanes take on a Rangers’ squad that currently leads the Metropolitan Division. New York has played some solid hockey this year behind a well-balanced attack. Henrik Lundqvist has not been like his normal king self this year with a .914 SV%. However, the Rangers continue to find wins because they are the highest-scoring team in the NHL with 91 on the season which is well ahead of the league. The Rangers will get the W in this one as they are way too balanced and Cam Ward will eventually crack under the pressure.
Key Stat: Hurricanes are 5-21-1 in the last 27 meetings in New York.
Pick: New York – Home Team Win – H
The Pens continue to get healthy by the day, and that is terrible news for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Patric Hornqvist returned from a concussion two games ago, and his presence has already made an impact on the PP which was impotent since his absence. As I have said before, the Red Wings to me are not even a playoff worthy team this season. I really think this is a big mismatch, and the Pens should get the routine win here with an almost healthy squad. Sidney Crosby continues to put up monster numbers and he should be another solid play tonight in DFS against an inferior Detroit squad.
Key Stat: Red Wings are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Pick: Pittsburgh – Home Team Win – H
Vladimir Tarasenko went off in his last game netting a hat-trick as he led the Blues to a 5-4 win against the Bolts on Thursday night. The Blues seem to be rolling as they have won three straight and seven of their last eight games played. Additionally, Alexander Steen returned to the lineup in that game against the Bolts posting three points all of which came on the man advantage. Steen is such a pivotal player for the Blues as he brings a lot to the table especially on special teams. With Tarasenko flying high, Steen back from injury, Jaden Schwartz breaking out… I really like the Blues to go on a little run here. The only thing I dislike about the Blues is Jake Allen who has a .907 SV% on the season since taking the goaltending reins in St. Louis. The Jets have had had a rather inconsistent season and have only two wins in their last eight games played. However, they have received a much needed boost with Matthieu Perrault and Bryan Little returning to the lineup this past week. This should be an exciting game but I have to side with the Blues who seem to have it together. Not to mention they are at home, where they are 11-1-2 on the season.
Key Stat: Jets are 3-10 in the last 13 meetings.
Pick: St. Louis – Home Team Win – H
There is something about the Ducks that the Oilers just can’t figure out. Anaheim has had their way with Edmonton for quite some time now as the key stat below shows. As much as I like the Oilers and what they got going on this season, I think the Ducks are a bad matchup for them and most importantly have a big edge in the experience department. It will take a big Connor McDavid night if the Oilers get the win here and I think the Ducks will keep him relatively quiet. I have to side with the Ducks who have won three straight heading into this matchup and clearly play the Oilers well having lost only once in their last ten games against them.
Key Stat: Ducks are 26-5 in the last 31 meetings.
Pick: Anaheim – Visitor Team Win – V
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